PCB Design Software options
Layout Software
Although some people still use rub-off transfers and sharpie markers to make layouts, there is software that will do schematic capture, and pcb layout. Not only will you get straight lines, but also revision control and ERC and DRC (electrical/design rule checks)! Some software can even hook straight into a SPICE circuit simulator.

Incase you were wondering, all CAD software sucks. The UI's on all of them are horrific to anyone used to quality software. It's not clear why this is but they're all bad in different but equally-annoying ways. That's just how it is.

Also, unless you spent $10K on your software, the autorouter is worthless. Take the time to route your own boards, you'll find it worth doing! Edit: I got pointed at http://www.freerouting.net/, very interesting, you can use an online board router?

Gerber Viewing

A gerber viewer is essential to checking your PCBs before shipping!

You can send your files over to FreeDFM for basic design for manufacturability (DFM) tests

May 17, 2011 20:07